Catholic Family News
A Monthly Journal Preserving our Catholic Faith and Heritage

1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre - fresh after 40 years - Nov. 21, 1974

1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre
Archbishop's Declaration fresh after 40 years
- from

On November 21, 1974 Archbishop Lefebvre, scandalized by the opinions expressed by the two Apostolic Visitors, drew up for his seminarians "in a spirit of doubtlessly excessive indignation" this famous Declaration as his stand against Modernism.

Ten days before, two Apostolic Visitors from Rome arrived at the St. Pius X Seminary in Econe. During their brief stay, they spoke to the seminarians and professors, maintaining scandalous opinions such as, the ordination of married men will soon be a normal thing, truth changes with the times, and the traditional conception of the Resurrection of Our Lord is open to discussion.


We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth.

We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.

All these reforms, indeed, have contributed and are still contributing to the destruction of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the abolition of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, to a naturalist and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries and catechectics; a teaching derived from Liberalism and Protestantism, many times condemned by the solemn Magisterium of the Church.

No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can force us to abandon or diminish our Catholic faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries.

“But though we,” says St. Paul, “or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8).

Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today?  And if we can discern a certain contradiction in his words and deeds, as well as in those of the dicasteries, well we choose what was always taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties destroying the Church.

It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church—all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church.

This Reformation, born of Liberalism and Modernism, is poisoned through and through; it derives from heresy and ends in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this Reformation or to submit to it in any way whatsoever.

The only attitude of faithfulness to the Church and Catholic doctrine, in view of our salvation, is a categorical refusal to accept this Reformation.

That is why, without any spirit of rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of forming priests, with the timeless Magisterium as our guide. We are persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff and to posterity.

That is why we hold fast to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy, teaching of the catechism, formation of the priest and institution of the Church, by the Church of all time; to all these things as codified in those books which saw day before the Modernist influence of the Council. This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome.

By doing this, with the grace of God and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that of St. Joseph and St. Pius X, we are assured of remaining faithful to the Roman Catholic Church and to all the successors of Peter, and of being the fideles dispensatores mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Spiritu Sancto. Amen.

November 21, 1974 Econe, Switzerland
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Archbishop's Declaration fresh after 40 years

November 20, 2014 - from

40 years ago on November 21, 1974, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre penned his famous "1974 Declaration" which manifested the Society of St. Pius X's unwavering attachment to Catholic Rome, all the while refusing the errors of Modernism and the ecumenical New Mass.

In commemorating this heroic act for the Faith, we [] have published two extracts that give the historical context of Archbishop Lefebvre's 1974 Declaration:

Archbishop Lefebvre's Declaration—a Catholic manifesto—sent a shock wave across the Catholic world as it stood squarely against the Modernist errors that had quickly spread in the wake of the Second Vatican Council resulting in an "auto-demolition" within the Church.

This firm stance taken by Archbishop Lefebvre for the priesthood and the salvation of souls bolstered the morale of traditionally-minded Catholics everywhere and gave them a fighting spirit to maintain the Faith.

For a younger generation of traditional Catholics, the 1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre might seem like ancient history. Yet, its words are still as fresh and vibrant today as they were 40 years ago—perhaps even more considering all of the water that has flowed under the Tiber bridge since!

We can say the same about Archbishop Lefebvre's classic book,
Open Letter to Confused Catholics, which though written in the 1980's, continues to echo the same timeless truths in relation to the post-conciliar crisis. It's a must read (or listen via audio book) for those who really want to know what the fight for the Faith is about!

And if you want to get a vivid sense of the man who was behind the Declaration (and the Society of St. Pius X), then we can do no better than to recommend the stirring movie, Archbishop Lefebvre: The Documentary, starting with the
positive reactions of those who witnessed its first showing.


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